Written by Charlie Penwick
March 13th, 2022, concluded the USMF’s World Games Qualifiers, finishing an exciting weekend full of Muay Thai competition and education in Denver, Colorado. Of course, the talented athletes fighting for their spot to represent the USA at the upcoming World Games were at the forefront of the event. However, there were also two clinics available for attendees; one on the intricacies of Muaythai officiating and the other on media. The USMF’s official sponsors and vendors were also the venues, who make opportunities like the qualifiers possible for the athletes and help grow the sport.
Photo by Jacob Saunders
Austrian Gunter Plank, 2021 Technical Official of the Year, led the Official’s Clinic. Alongside other USMF officials like Stephen Strotmeyer, Plank and his team offered valuable insight into refereeing and judging the sport. The clinic provided coursework directed by Plank’s knowledgeable team and a unique opportunity to “shadow judge” some of the matches. Attendees earned a certificate for being Qualified Officials.
Photo by Hristo Petkov
Taking gold in the female featherweight division, two-time IFMA Gold Medalist Tierra Brandt overcame a bracket stacked with professionals. She was the youngest in her division and the only amateur at featherweight. Over at light flyweight, Janet Garcia Borbon’s aggressive, pressure-based style won her a spot at the World Games to fight the best of the best. The female gold medalists in the other divisions are; at flyweight- Anglea Bahr, bantamweight- Ashley Thiner, lightweight (60kg)- Charlsey Maner, lightweight (63.5kg)- Erin Clayton.
Photo by Jeff Dojillo
In the men’s divisions, at light heavyweight Aaron Ortiz came fresh off of fighting in Dubai to three brutal bouts at the Qualifiers, overcoming injury to take gold against game opponent Zach Bunnell. At 71kg Luke “The Chef” Lessei earned his spot at the World Games. In the light welterweight division Joseph “Peculiar” Mueller fought through his division, overcoming veteran Sean Climaco in the finals to represent the USA. USA’s other male gold medalists are; featherweight- Austin Amell, welterweight- Travis Petralba, heavyweight- Matt “The Butcher” Baker.
Photo by Wendy Maya
USMF would also like to thank all of its sponsors and official vendors; InFightStyle, Dr. Kronic’s, Combat Corner, Authentic Muay Thai Supply, Temple Muay Thai, Traveling Prize Fighter, Muay Thai Republic, The MMA Doc, The Warriors Cup, Cool Heart Performance, Audacious Muay Thai, Dominion Training Camp and North Florida Muay Thai for their support of the event and the athletes.
With the World Games coming up in Birmingham, the athletes will be preparing to partake in a historic event for Muay Thai. Make sure to show your support for the USMF athletes!
Story taken from: https://usamuaythai.sport/world-games-qualifier-recap/?fbclid=IwAR3DiBf8JLr7gYu-uk9E0boSzOu3UItiQWHOEbfWawuqWgFjGe34Klok8yw